November 4, 2015

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What does it mean to see the face of God in another? When we look at another person, who or what do we hope to see?
Experience says we are looking for connections and similarities. Experience also says we are often more at ease with someone who is alike, who may be related-either literally or figuratively-or which whom we may have shared experiences such as schooling, work, or political views.
The clear invitation of the Gospel is to look for those connections and similarities. We are to look but without the expectation that there will be sameness. We will discover similarities in our shared humanness, but the Gospel is clear that to insist on sameness is in opposition to the glory of God’s Creation. It is when we look into the heart of another before us that we can see God; just as we can be the imago Dei for them. Our differences are truly gifts from God and to be embraced.
Experience also shows that far too often we are looking for, wanting to see only those who look like us, think like us, believe like us, and act like us. This may be a primal urge in which our reptilian brain sees safety in sameness, but it is not the biblical invitation. Being male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile (as Paul wrote in Galatians) is not about differences disappearing. It is a recognition that we are to look out into the world and see the great diversity of Creation-and to celebrate these differences.
In reality, this is often hard for us to embrace. Think of all the ways that we separate-from what we eat and wear and where we live, to what we look like and how we believe. What I do know is that we cannot change how we see others and treat others unless we are willing to look at ourselves and learn.
We at St. Peter’s have made a commitment to look at racism and racial reconciliation. This includes building on what has been done and is being done, but it also includes asking the hard questions about how we individually and collectively must change. This is no easy thing but it is a blessed transformation; it is the way to live into the depth and richness of all God’s Creation and with all one’s sisters and brothers in Christ.

We can take next steps by participating in an upcoming Diocesan workshop called Seeing the Face of God in Others. In a substantive and guided way we can learn the damage done and being done to this country and to us as result of continuing racism on Saturday, November 14, here at St. Peter’s.  You can register online.

I invite you to be there. I will be there because there is always room to learn.
~ The Reverend L. Murdock Smith, Assisting Priest

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Stewardship Campaign News – November 3: As of the afternoon of Tuesday, November 3, 223 units totaling $676,708 have been received toward our $950,000 goal. In addition to the following pledges, the Stewardship team hopes for 100% participation. Mrs. Jeanne Agan, Mr. Jim Amburn, Ms. J. Candace Armstrong, The Honorable John Arrowood, Mr. Robert Atkins, Mr. Michael Baker, Mrs. Susan Baldwin, Mrs. Robert Bandy, Ms. Adelaide Barringer, The Reverend and Mrs. James Bartos, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Bass, Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Beaird, Mr. Bob Beardsley and Mr. Frank Steele, Mr. Timothy Bice, Ms. Donna Black, Ms. Sandra Blair, Mrs. Warren Leslie Bobbitt, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Ovidio Bocanegra, Ms. Jen Bourne, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Boykin, Isabelle Bradberry, Mr. and Mrs. John Bradberry, Mr. Chase Branham, Mr. and Mrs. John Brien, Ms. Elizabeth Brodie and Dr. Damian Bracy, Mr. Neil Broncaccio, Ms. Debra Brooks, Dr. Barbara Brown, Mr. William Bryan and Ms. Mary Margaret Myers, Mr. and Mrs. John Budall, Mr. and Mrs. Steven Burke, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Busch, Dr. Susan Campbell and Mr. Sean Casey, Ms. Carolyn Carlburg, Dr. and Mrs. Kent Carpenter, Kyle Cathey, Lelyand Cathey, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Chapin, The Reverend Julie Clarkson, Ellison Clary and Linda Gallehugh, Ms. Tina Coelho, Ms. Jo Cooley, Mrs. Suzanne Coonen, Ms. Gloria Cooper, Mrs. Peggy Copeland, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Corcoran, Mrs. Elizabeth Corzine, Ms. Chantalle Couba, Mr. Jack Cozean, Mrs. James B. Craighill, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crayton, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Cudabac, Mr. Rodney Currin, Mr. John Denti, Vince DiFrancesco and Nikki Scandalios, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Dresser, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Dudley, Mrs. Nancy Dumbell, Ms. Nancy Duncan, Dr. John Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Ellsworth, Ms. Elsie Erneston, Ms. Roberta Farman Stein, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Ferguson, Ms. Joy Floyd, Mrs. Kusawn Foster, Mr. Theodore Foster, Jr., Dr. John Frederick and Mr. Anthony Craghead, Mr. Brian Gallagher and Mr. Terry Prince, Mr. Samuel Gardner, III and Mr. Jim DiMartino, Mr. Pendley Garrett, Callan Ghareeb, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ghareeb, Diana Gibbs, Ms. Lydia Gittens, The Right Reverend and Mrs. Gary Gloster, Ms. Mary Gotschall, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon G. Graves, Mr. and Mrs. James Green, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Greene, Ms. Lynn Griffin, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gross, Evette Guine-Paige and Terry Paige, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Hacker, Mr. Randy Haith, The Reverend Dr. Paul Hanneman, Dr. John Hall and Mr. Robbie Howell, Mr. and Mrs. James Hardy, Ms. Ann Haskell, Ms. Josephine H. Hicks, Dr. Gwendolyn High, Mr. and Mrs. William Hinson, III, Mr. Michael Hoffman, Mr. and Mrs. John Hoke, Lyn and Harris Holt, Eugenia Holtz, Katherine Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Dandridge Hurdle, Mr. and Mrs. John Hurst, Jr., Ms. Kimberly Hurst, Douglas Hutto and Steve Thomas, Ms. Louise Im, Ms. Marie Irving, Mrs. Nancy Jewell, Mrs. Edith Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Michael Johnson, Ms. Elaine Jones, Mr. John Joslin, Mr. Walter Kearns, Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Keller, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Keller, Jr., Ms. Maureen Kivney, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Knox, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Koppenal, Mr. and Mrs. William Krewson, Mr. and Mrs. Jan Kyle, Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Lakin, Ms. Lynn Lau, Mr. and Mrs. David Lavoie, Ms. Lynnette Lewis, Ms. Carol Lillard, Mr. and Mrs. Kent Lineberger, Mrs. Betty Little, Mr. and Mrs. Nevan Little, Mrs. Trissy Lomax, Mr. and Mrs. V. Alan Lombardi, Mrs. Kathleen (Cash) Long, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lopes, Abe Loven, Mr. and Mrs. Zach Luszcz, Mrs. Claudia Macauley, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mandon, Mr. Elwood Manigault, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Markel, Mrs. Susanne Martin, Mr. Richard Mautz III and Ms. Emily Stolz, Ms. Janie Maybeck, Ms. Susan McConnell, Ms. Nelda Leon, Mrs. Dorothy McGavran, Ms. Hulene McLean, Ms. Judy McLeod, Alfonso McMillian, Jr. and Sydney Burgess, Mr. Matthew Messer, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Miano, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Mixter, Mr. Thayer Moeller, Mrs. Antonia Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Moore, Mr. and Mrs. North Moore, III, Mr. and Mrs. Micah Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper Morrison, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. George Mundle, Mr. Todd Murphy, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Nelson, Ms. Kimberly Newman, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Nicholson, III, Mr. Charles Noe and Mr. Randy Peacock, Mr. and Mrs. John Norton II, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. O’Neill, Mr. Ben Outen, Mr. Trey Owen and Mr. Wes Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. James Owens, Dr. Leland Park, Mr. John Parker, III, Mr. and Mrs. James Partington, III, Ms. Betty Payne, Miss Edith Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. Tim Pechar, Dr. Willian Pfischner, Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Raiford, Mr. Patrick Ratchford, Ms. Kristine Reid, The Reverend and Mrs. Ollie V. Rencher, Mr. and Ms. Michael Restaino, Ms. Marie Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Roosa, Ms. Linda Sarazen, Ms. Callina Satterfield, The Reverend Joslyn and Dr. Brian Schaefer, Mrs. Yvette Seaton, Mr. and Mrs. James Shannonhouse, Jr., Mr. Matthew Sharp, Mr. Harry Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. John Shumate, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Singletary, Ms. Anita Smith, The Reverend and Mrs. L. Murdock Smith, Miles Smith, Mr. Rob Smith and Ms. Maria Long, The Reverend and Mrs. Jonathan Soyars, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Spinazzolla, Mr. Michael Spivey, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stigall, the Reverend Carl Synan, Avery and Will Teichman, Mrs. Norveline Thomas, Dr. John Thompson, Jr., Mr. Rob Thompson, Mrs. Ellen Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tindle, Mr. and Mrs. James Tringas, Mrs. Mary Anna Turner, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Vanderpool, Ms. Amanda Vann and Ms. Sharon Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Ruard Veltman, Dr. George Waterhouse, Nathan Webb, Mrs. J. McDonald Welch, Hope Westerfield and Marti Henderson, Ms. Lisa Wielunski, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. William Williamson, III, Ms. Mary (Lindie) Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Wilson, Mary Virginia and Dan Woodall, Mrs. Ruth Woodend, Mr. and Mrs. John Zemaitis, and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Zulick. Together in faith, the parish family can meet, if not exceed, its necessary $950,000 goal. To learn more about Give to the Vision 2016: Generous Abundance and pledge online today, click here.
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Center City Concerts at St. Peters: This free concert at Noon on Monday, November 16, features the Lois Deloatch Jazz Ensemble. Jazz vocalist Lois Deloatch, in a career that has spanned nearly three decades, has performed throughout the United States and internationally. She will be joined by her instrumental ensemble of piano, guitar, percussion and bass for a program of jazz, blues, and spirituals.
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Bishop’s Installation Highlights: St. Peter’s was well-represented at the Bishop’s installation in Washington D.C. over the past weekend, with the Reverend Ollie Rencher, Ellie Rencher, John Arrowood, Josephine Hicks, Paul Keller, Jan Keny, Betty Payne and Wes Sturgis in attendance. You can experience some highlights from The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer, as well as these photo highlights.
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Vestry Nominations Due November 13: Vestry nominations for the Annual Meeting of the Parish are due Friday, November 13. On Sunday, December 6 at 9:30 a.m., the Annual Meeting of the Parish will include the election of four new Vestry members to follow 2015 class members Mark Boyd, Sam Bowles, Sam Gardner and Amy Dillon King. Please consider potential lay leaders who might serve the parish through this three-year commitment and first ask their permission to nominate them. The Vestry Nominee Recommendation Form is available online here and due no later than Friday, November 13.
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Spiritual Lessons from Spain:  St. Peter’s Youth Pilgrims will offer a Parish Hall Forum on Spiritual Lessons from Spai, on November 22 in the Parish Hall at 9:30 a.m.
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Seeing the Face of God in Each Other: This short course on Saturday, November 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is provided by the Diocese to help us serve as models for inclusion and justice-making by providing tools needed to help end systemic and institutional racism. It is open to anyone. Cost is $15 per person. Register online.
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Episcopal Farmworker Ministry Donations: Khaki pants and shirts will be collected for the farmworkers of Eastern North Carolina in the Parish House Lobby on Sunday, November 8, between the services and after the 10:45 a.m. service. The most useful items are long-sleeved, button-down shirts in all sizes, and khaki pants in sizes 30-36, with size 32 being the most needed. Clean, gently used items are just fine! Contact Nancy Duncan (
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Advent Fair Fundraiser: This year’s Parish Advent Fair fundraiser for the 2017 Youth Pilgrimage is November 22, November 29 and December 6 before and after worship services. Among the items to be sold are Anglican prayer beads made of polished stones and olive wood by by St. Peter’s youth. Priced at $15 (stone) or $10 (wood), these excellent prayer tools come with a small booklet of prayers and instructions.
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Greenery Sale: The Choir School at St. Peter’s offers wreaths, garlands and Christmas trees in a variety of sizes-all fresh from the North Carolina mountains. Frasier fir wreaths (20-inch, 24-inch or 36-inch) may be purchased plain or decorated with pine cones and a large red bow and can be direct shipped to clients, friends, or family. They are guaranteed to arrive fresh and beautiful. Garlands can be ordered in two sizes-15-foot Frasier fir or 10-yard white pine. Trees, from 4 to 10 feet, may be picked up at the lot at 1312 East Boulevard beginning the day after Thanksgiving between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Orders can be placed on The Choir School website or by contacting a chorister. Order forms are also available at St. Peter’s through November 8. The greenery sale helps keep The Choir School program open to every talented young person accepted to the choirs.
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Hope and Grief Program: A four-week series on Hope and Grief is open to all who have experienced loss of any kind and seek solace for the journey of healing. The four-week program will be on Thursdays, October 29, November 5, 12, and 19, in two locations. Evening gatherings from 6:30 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. will be at St. Peter’s; morning gatherings from 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. will be at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, 2701 Park Road. Sessions will be led by the Reverend Amanda K. Robertson from Holy Comforter. All congregations as well as the wider community are invited to attend.
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Outreach & Social Justice Meeting: A meeting of the Economic and Community Justice Social Justice Working Group will be Sunday, November 8, 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
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Chronic Illness Support Group: Anyone who lives with a chronic illness is invited to attend this group, which is a time for prayer and meditation followed by a discussion on a spiritual topic. Meets on Thursday, November 12, 3:00-4:00 p.m., in the Parlor. Contact the Reverend Jonathan Soyars (, 704-749-6150).